tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 9, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT
wasn't the hardest part. getting my kids stable, finding my confidence. i work here now. i am so happy to be able to relay the things i've learned to moms. this program gave me the tools, and i found myself. >> we are investing in people. believe in yourself and just take one day at a time. their ability to change their lives, now, that is inspiring. a major development in the search for a missing teenager and the murder suspect she's believed to be traveling with. also, president obama says he'll keep the spies honest when it comes to spying on you. tonight, we're keeping him honest and digging into republican claims he's letting an nsa leaker, edward snowden, force his hand. later, amazing rescues in a
flood zone. you'll meet the parents of this baby. two big developments that's correct lead authorities to alleged killer james dimaggio and 16-year-old hannah anderson. his car has been found in idaho, far from san diego from he allegedly killed hanna's mother and possibly her brother ethan, as well. >> the blue nissan versa was discovered covered in blush, the plates had been removed. but law enforcement were able to confirm that the vehicle did belong to dimaggio. >> that's one key development. the other perhaps even bigger. word that hannah anderson and james dimaggio may have been spotted as he's been doing from the very start. oliver camden is joining us now with the very latest. paul, what are you hearing?
>> reporter: wolf, sources saying a single rider on a horseback, possibly other riders, spotted hannah anderson around mr. anderson in the idaho back country. they say the car was at a trailhead and the couple would have been hiking six to eight miles away. authorities also saying it appeared that dimaggio geared up for weeks before buying camping equipment to go into the wilderness, and they did see backpacks on both of the individuals, wolf. >> i know, paul, that the sheriff spoke about the condition hannah seemed to be in when the hikers saw her. tell the viewers what he said. >> reporter: perhaps we learned some key clues to the whereabouts and the well-being of both of the children. as you pointed out, she seemed to be in good health. let's listen to what the sheriff
had to say about that. >> it didn't look like she was being held against her will. we're still holding out hope that ethan is still alive, but the sighting up in idaho was a man and apparently a teenage girl. so there was no sighting wednesday of a small boy. >> reporter: perhaps dire news there. a confirmation that ethan was not seen with this couple. >> as far as that other body that was found in the house, paul, authorities say it was consistent with that of an 8-year-old child. i take it the dna results have not yet come back? >> they have had an extremely difficult time here trying to get the dna sample and not to put too gruesome a point on this, but it's because the remains of the child found inside the house were so badly charred, wolf. >> there's some indication by the police today that this kidnapping seems to have been planned for some time.
what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: one of the smoking gun indicators is the dense that dimaggio stockpiled camping equipment and had been buying it in recent weeks leading up to this disappearance. they were warning us all week long that they feared dimaggio, who is somewhat of an outdoorsman, might try to make a run into the wilderness. we know also in his past he had that misdemeanor back in texas for avoiding a police officer and heading down a dirt road at 70 miles per hour. there were a lot of signs he thought this out and calculated just where he would make his run. >> oliver camden on the scene for us, thank you very much. joining us now, christine anderson's sister, the aunt of the two children. we're so sorry what happened today, andrea. the news today that your niece
appeared to be in good health. what's your reaction to that? >> it makes me happy. i'm hoping they find them. >> we all are hoping that. obviously it's a tough, tough situation. the sheriff today did say that your niece didn't seem to be held against her will. i don't know if we can read too much into that. but what do you make of that? >> there could be all different scenarios behind that. you know, i don't have much to say on it, but she's being held. >> some friends of hannah's are saying that dimaggio had a crush on her. he's 40, she's 16 years old. she was uncomfortable with that. does that come as a surprise to you? >> it does, it does. it's very disturbing. >> had you ever heard of any indications this guy may have had a crush on her? >> no, i have not.
>> it's a total surprise. we've seen a family photo, you with christina who died in the cabin fire. hannah, ethan. there it is right there on the couch with all of you, including dimaggio. he was really close to this family, wasn't he? >> he was. he definitely was. >> looking back, andrea, was there anything -- was there any clue that you now could discern that he could perhaps do something like this? >> no, not at all. he seemed like a sweet guy, nothing out of the ordinary. >> so what was he like beyond being a sweet guy? >> i only met him that one time, and that was about two years ago. he was just -- he was fun. you know, he was very interactive with everyone. >> do you have any clear picture from the authorities in san diego what actually happened in that cabin, how the fire was
set, what may have happened before the fire? >> no, i do not. >> no inside information on that? >> no. >> if dimaggio or your niece is watching you right now, what would you want to say to them? >> hannah, be strong, run. get out of there. we will find you. we love you, baby. >> andrea, thank you very much for taking a few moments to speak with us. our deepest, deepest sympathies. good luck, obviously. we're hoping for the very, very best. i want to go next to the crime fighter, the victim advocate john walsh who has spoken with hannah's father, brett. john, the san diego sheriff says hannah seemed to be okay, didn't seem as if she was held against her will. i understand you would like to respond to that. what do you want to say? >> i don't think anybody can comment on what hannah is going through. i spoke to elizabeth smart the
day after she was recovered and in confidence we talked about how her perpetrator had been stopped by the police three times. she was terrified to jump out and say i'm elizabeth smart and captive, because he threatened her every single day for eight months. he said look, i got in your house. i'll go back and kill your mother and father and sister that was in the room when elizabeth was kidnapped. so she was terrified. don't judge hannah until we hear the final story. this girl probably witnessed the murder of her mother and brother. she's probably in survival mode that i will comply to stay alive. >> is it at least a positive sign that she's still alive all these days later? i know last night you told us you thought it could be a good thing that this guy may have some kind of a crush on this young woman? >> absolutely.
his obsession with this girl is what caused this whole event. he probably has real knowledge of this no return wilderness that they're in. as i said to the father brett last night, and i just spoke to him, i said this is good news that hannah is still alive, that he's obsessed with her, that he won't kill her and go on the run. i think he's making his attempt to disappear into that wilderness and hopes the cops will never find him. but it's a very good thing that she's still alive. >> you also told us last night, john, you were trying to speak with brett anderson. i understand you were finally able to catch up with him. what can you tell us about that conversation? >> thanks to you guys, wolf, he called me. i said you're a heart broken father. i've walked in your shoes. 32 years ago i had my heart ripped out. he said he's devastated by the murder of his wife and son. i said you have to remember who the real victim is. he's a courageous father. i said, do all the media you
can. right now you need the media more than they need you, and let's get hannah-back alive. he's going to a memorial for those two loved ones he lost, but he's totally focused and asking the public, watch the amber alerts. they're crucial. they've saved over 600 kids over the years. somebody is going to see something in that wilderness. some camper, somebody, and they'll give the tip that's going to get this girl back alive. >> if this guy dimaggio is watching you and me right now, what would you say to him? >> i would say to him, you have destroyed an entire family. do the right thing, give this girl up. bring her back. let her get some counseling. face the consequences, and you just can't believe for a second that you're going to get away with this and get out alive. save your own life, save her life, give yourself up. >> what do you make of what the police suggested that this guy
probably bought camping equipment weeks ago. what does that say to you? >> i believe that he was planning this. i've track sod many of these guys, wolf. i believe in his mind, he either believed she was infatuated by him. he's certainly lly infatuated her. he was planning the demise of this mother. he probably researched this wilderness because that's his hobby, he's a camper, a survivalist, and he's picked a remote area. as one of the fbi agents i was speaking to, when we were looking for rudolph, the fbi and "america's most wanted" in the mountains of north carolina, he was able to stay in that deep, dense wilderness forest for months at a time. so i'm praying this isn't the case. my gut feeling is he planned this, he killed the mom and brother, collateral damage. he's going to have his wonderful honeymoon or whatever in his
mind he's thinking about with this girl. but i think cops are closing in. i want to see them take him alive and see that girl back home. her father is desperately waiting for her. >> you know the police say he probably has explosives, some sort of improvized explosive device. that's very worrisome. >> it is worrisome, wolf, that he's in that mental state and the idaho bomb squad is checking out the car to defuse it to make sure he didn't make it a booby trap. it looks as though in the homicide, and this has been in the news before, in the homicide of the mom and son, that he used a blunt weapon. hopefully he doesn't have a gun with him of other weapons. hopefully he won't take his life, take her life first. he may have explosives. but i think the cops are prepared. the noose is tightening on this guy. i just want to see her back alive. >> all of us do. john walsh, thank you very much. >> glad to do it, wolf.
i hope tomorrow or tonight they're reporting hannah is back and this dirtbag is in custody. just ahead, we'll take you to the flood zone which is growing. and the skeptics weigh in on president obama's changes for intelligence gathering. among the questions, just what do his reforms actually reform? later, the facebook posting that has the whole country reeling in horror. a picture of this man's dead wife and his murder confession. dr. drew penske is here to make some sense of this apparently senseless act. hi, grandpa! [off screen] give me a kiss! [speaking mandarin] what do you think? do you like it? [off screen] happy birthday!
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calls, your internet access. speaking to reporters today, the white house outlined a four-point plan to reform intelligence gathering, especially as it touches american citizens. >> first, i will work with congress to pursue appropriate reforms to section 215 of the patriot act, the program that collects telephone records. second, i'll work with congress to improve the public's confidence in the oversight conducted by the foreign intelligence surveillance court. so specifically, we can take steps to make sure civil liberties certaliberty s concerns have -- number three, we can and must be more transparent. so i've directed the intelligence community to make public as much information about these programs as possible. fourth, we're forming a high level group of outside experts to review our entire
intelligence and communications technologies. we need new thinking for a new era. >> as for the timing of all of this, the president says the review process began before the snowden controversy, but acknowledged the impact of it. >> unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate, but not always fully informed way. >> reaction today from republican lawmakers. john boehner warning the president to make sure reform does not cripple intelligence operations. congressman peter king going further. >> this is a terrible failure of leadership. this is the nsa version of the apology tour, of the obama apology tour. this is a successful program. the nsa program is successful, and yet the president is allowing edward snowden, a traitor, to pull the puppet strings. >> a lot to talk about with david gergen, chief white house
correspondent jessica yellin and dana bash. jessica, we heard the president make this a promise that it's going to become more transparent. he says it was already happening before the snowden leaks. but is that really realistic? >> well, as you point out, wolf, he did say that he wanted more transparency back in may. he said that. that was right before edward snowden's first leak was in june. so his assertion is that the snowden leaks just sped up a process that was going to happen any way. well, we also have to take a bigger look at the big picture, which is did snowden actually lead to these new safeguards he put in place? we know that two democratic senators have been calling for more transparency and even reforms for more than a year now. sn when the head of the intelligence community went before congress, he's admitted
now that he was less than truthful in talking about them. so that was all before snowden. would this have happened without snowden? we can't know, the train has left the station, but it does seem to have been a huge nudge. >> david, you heard congressman peter king say the president is letting edward snowden pull the puppet strings and this is another so-called apology tour for the president. what did you make of what the president said today? >> well, wolf, i welcome the fact that the president is talking about the national debate more fully. he's been meeting on this subject for a while, several weeks. all those conversations ramped up this week. he wanted to get this done before he went on vacation. republicans think he's not really protecting security. he never really made a robust defense on the security aspects. and democrats worry, there have
been two public concerns. one is about the scope of what's being monitored. the other is about the possible abuse of somewhat's being collected. the president today talked about stopping abuses, preventing abuses but he didn't narrow the scope. so there's still this vast collection process going on. for some americans listening, it was just two weeks ago that this was a president saying washington had taken its eye off the ball on the economy. and here he is, his first press conference in a long time, and sure enough, he put his eye on something other than the economy. >> i was surprised myself he didn't open up with a real economics statement as opposed to the nsa surveillance program. dana, what's been the preaction on capitol hill? the president is heading on vacation tomorrow, but we did see what speaker boehner was saying, suggesting the president was more concerned about saving face than defending these programs. >> that's right. look, this has been kind of the one issue or one of the few
issues i should say where republicans have been pretty supportive of the president. this nsa program they say has been helpful and they have been kind of his biggest cheerleaders on this, while the democrats, many of the democrats, as jessica was talking about, two leading liberal democrat senators have been the most vocal in terms of their criticism. this has changed that a little bit. one thing i would say about peter king, as he said the president is on an apology tour. what that also illustrates is the split within the republican party. peter king is making noise about being president and is trying to push the wing of the republican party that is more hawkish against those on the republican side like rand paul who is running as somebody more of a libertarian. even in the reaction to the president's announcement today, that is on display, the illustration of the split within the republican party, not just
the democratic party. >> there is a real split in the republican party on these international issues. let me go back to david. david, the president said that civil libertarians are patriots. let me play you a clip of what he said when he was asked if edward snowden was a patriot. >> i don't think mr. snowden is a patriot. the fact, is he's been charged with three felonies. if he believes what he did was right, then like every american citizen, he can come here, appear before the court with a lawyer, and make his case. >> he said that snowden interrupted what could have been, in his words, a lawful, orderly examination of these laws. a thoughtful fact-based debate. david, would there have been a debate without snowden? >> no, not with the kind of
volume and intensity and level of public concern that we see now. clearly, snowden triggered that. the president himself said that. i think this is almost classic obama, where he's being so cautious, that sometimes the message gets a little muddled. on one hand he says he's not a patriot. on the other hand he really did help move this debate forward. instead of having him come down hard on snowden, and what he did, which was so treacherous, which is what the republicans who have been supporting the president would like, he seemed to let him off gently. on the other hand, people like ezra klein from "the washington post" saying why do you say he's not a patriot when he helped move this debate along. i thought the president was sort of low key, and so lawyerly that i don't think he had the political impact you normally look for in a presidential news
conference. >> u.s.-russia relations, jessica, did we see any movement as far as president obama and president putin is concerned? >> no. he described their relationship as candid and blunt, that's diplomacy speak for we don't get along. the president has already been clear from the white house here that when they called off the moscow meeting, there were a long list of disagreements. but he added a poke at putin, the president was critiquing how we in the media overread their body language, but it was not the most flattering way to describe vladamir putin. >> thanks to all of you. a missouri dad kept his cool in the face of rising flood waters and saved his son and neighbors.
also, another dramatic rescue. firefighters carrying a baby to safety near nashville. just ahead, i'll talk to her parents about that terrifying moment. ♪ [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪ summer's best event from cadillac. let summer try and pass you by. lease this all-new cadillac ats for around $299 per month or purchase for 0% apr for 60 months. come in now for the best offers of the model year. always go the extra mile. to treat my low testosterone, i did my research. my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal
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raging floods across a wide swath of the country have claimed at least four lives. the latest victim, a 60-year-old man who was trying to save his daughter from her stranded car. he was swept into a creek. for days now, a powerful and stubborn storm system has been turning roads and homes into deathtraps. the danger isn't over. southeast kansas and southern missouri have seen up to 10 inches of rain already this week, with more expected this weekend. forecasters say both regions are facing extreme flooding risks. we can't say it often enough, these flood waters are dangerous and can kill quickly. one community in missouri had a very close call. cnn's george hall is joining us with details. what happened, george? >> reporter: so hollister, missouri. you can see turkey creek behind me running quietly tonight. the other day, the water was as
high as where aim standing. and people in this neighborhood didn't really know because they were asleep. this happened around 3:00 a.m. there was one neighbor, nick ramirez, who noticed this happening, went door to door to door, knocking on doors, making sure everyone got out. the good news in this neighborhood, wolf, is no one was hurt, no one was killed. everyone survived. again, definitely a scary situation for a lot of people. >> so how are the cleanup efforts going, george? >> reporter: well, you know, it's one of those things where people are starting to come back and see what's left over. it's going to take several days, but you find some of these mobile homes, as you would imagine, with a lot of water rushing through, were shifted to several different places. some mobile homes even have the siding ripped off, the sheer force of the water came through. you're finding some people who have some of their belongings left, others trying to find their home. their homes are gone. >> yes, sad situation.
george, thank you very much. george howell reporting. you saw the flood waters can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of only a few minutes. over the last several days, we've seen some dramatic rescues. one image in particular is hard to shake. take a look at this. firefighters outside nashville, tennessee carry a baby through waist-high water that was rising fast. the baby's name is lauren marlin. she's just 5 weeks old. lauren obviously won't have any memory of her rescue, but her parents will never forget it. they join us now along with their baby daughter loren and son jeremiah. rebecca, walk us through what happened. you're at home, watching the news. what happened then? >> i opened the front door to watch the storm and i looked down and noticed my entire front yard is covered in water.
i yelled for my husband to get up, we're flooding. he jumps up and calls 911. they tell us to get into our attic and bust open the side vents to let the firefighters know we're there. i go into panic mode and start picking up -- i start getting food and diapers and clothes together, because i have no idea how long we're going to be up there. we're up there for a good hour and they get my mother-in-law and father-in-law out first. and then they finally come over to us and they rescue our 4-year-old son first. and they decide to get my husband out so he can be out to get our daughter when the firefighters bring her out. and then they finally got me out. he was probably within 30 minutes when they rescued all of us. >> jeremiah, what was it like waiting up in that attic?
your house was filling up with water. what was going through your mind. >> it's frightening to see that amount of water come in that quick, knowing you have young children in the house that you have to protect and try to save. and it's a tough thing to go through. we went through the may 2010 flooding and it was nowhere near like it was yesterday. >> rebecca, i can only imagine how glad you were when the firefighters showed up. tell us what hand, especially when you passed your daughter to them. i know you were thinking, what, please don't drop her, right? >> yeah, that was my first thought was please don't drop my baby, please don't drop my baby. i watched them carry my 4-year-old out and i teared up, because that's -- he's my first born, he's my baby. and when they carried her out, she was asleep and never made a sound, never moved. i thought, thank you, god,
because they have her safe and sound to the street to where, you know, i know she was safe and with her daddy and nana and it was wonderful to see that. and then afterwards i was so worried about getting myself out and putting my life jacket on. i was done. i was just ready to get out of that mess. >> jeremiah, what do you want to say to those firefighters who carried your daughter to safety? >> i'm very grateful for the nashville fire department. it was a matter of minutes from the time they got there to the seem they got a rope out, got my mom and father-in-law out or my mom's husband out. they did an exceptional job getting us out, our neighbors out. i'm very grateful for them. they did an amazing job. >> thank you to both of you and the entire family for joining us. we're glad you're okay and you have gotten through what is obviously a huge crisis. rebecca, jeremiah marlin, thank you very much for coming in.
>> thank you. >> thank you. up next, the there are man who admits he killed his wife and then posted a photo of her body on facebook. we'll talk about it with dr. drew penske. alex rodriguez returns to yankees stadium for the first time since his suspension. what kind of reception did he get? i'm beth... and i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online
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a strange twist to a murder case in florida. a man accused of killing his wife before turning himself in. 31-year-old derek medina posted a photo of her dead body on facebook, showing her in a contorted position on the floor in their south miami floor. we decided not to show it. he also posted a message which read, i'm going to prison or a death sentence for killing my wife. love you guys, miss you guys. take care, facebook people. you will see me in the news.
my wife was punching me, so i did what i did. i hope you understand me. some of his facebook friends reacted in disgust. but incredibly, the photo was shared more than 100 times before facebook took it down. police say he admitted shooting his wife after a violent argument. this afternoon, he was arraigned on a charge of first degree murder and was denied bond. jennifer alfonso's 10-year-old daughter was in the home but was not hurt. earlier, i spoke to dr. drew penske. dr. drew, the fact that this man confessed on facebook to murdering his wife and posted a photo of her dead body, have you ever seen anything like this before? >> wolf, i've never seen anything like this before. this case is so horrific and tragic and at the same time, fascinating in so many ways. we are seeing the history of social media evolving before our
eyes, now to the point where we have to witness murders and their aftermath. it not only speaks volumes about social media's influence on our world today, but calls into question what the responsibility of an organization like facebook has to protect the public from things that might be disturbing. one of the features of this story is that the pictures were up there long enough to be shared hundreds of times. so these may end up in front of people who don't want to see things like this. >> it's amazing, 170 times it was shared before it was taken down. i don't understand that, do you? >> i don't understand it, but i think it's going to have to be tightened up. when you think about it, it's kind of amazing it wasn't shared 170,000 times. that is part of this historical evolution that we're seeing here right now. this story is ironic and tragic on so many levels. not just from the stand point of the social media issue, but how
about the fact that this guy wrote books about communication and maintaining a healthy marriage. >> one of those books was entitled "how i saved someone's life in marriage and family problems through communication." how do you explain that? >> i guess it's something he probably had to work on himself in certain areas of life is all we can speculate. but this does throw into bold relief in my mind, people understand that interpersonal terrorism where somebody systematically breaks somebody down, that's a coup that will must be separated. but circumstances that are far more common that professionals call common couple violence, we often don't think of having a potential fatal outcome. this is a bold reminder that common couple violence, i don't know if substances were involved, but if you though that, common couple violence, which is it's just a little bit of roughness can quickly escalate into something just as
dangerous. not as chronic, but as acutely dangerous as interpersonal terrorism. >> the "miami herald" say they definitely did see signs of abuse and control. one friend saying she would say he was going to change, she was in love with him. you see a lot of this domestic abuse, don't you? >> unfortunately we do. anyone that works in law enforcement or health care, we're going to see this all the time. thankfully in california, where i practice, there are mandatory rules where if you see even a suspicion of this you report it to social services. the problem is, so much of it goes underground, so much is unnoticed and glossed over with denial that it could become very difficult. these stories are important for people listening, if you have any hint of this, you've got to get help. because help does work in these situations of so-called common violence and if it's interpersonal terrorism, we have
to get these people separated because that ends bad always. >> dr. drew, thank you very much. >> thank you. just ahead, the family of a florida teenager who died after being tasered by police. they want some answers. today, a new investigation was launched. we have details. that's coming up. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot. it's time to build a better enterprise. together. (tires screeching) red hot deal days are back. (alarm beeping) stop for no one. what? it's red hot deal days. get $100 off the samsung galaxy note ii
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show your car a little love with an oil change starting at $19.95. let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following tonight. susan hendricks joins us with a "360" bulletin. miami beach officials have ordered an independent investigate shun of the israel hernandez case. he was caught tagging an abandoned building and died after police tasered him. sunday, the state department will reopen all but one of the 19 u.s. diplomatic posts that were closed this weekend. the embassy in yemen will remain closed. boos and cheers for alex rodriguez tonight at yankees stadium after striking out in his first at-bat. it's his first home game since he was suspended. and oprah winfrey says she
was the victim of racism on a recent trip to switzerland when an assistant refused to show her a handbag because it was too expensive. she has an estimated worth of $2.8 billion. wolf? >> susan, thank you very much. up next, the fascinating story heading to the big screen. the african-american man who worked as a butler in the white house for eight presidents. [ male announcer ] if you think all toothbrushes are the same,
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one week from today, lee daniels' film "the butler" opens in theaters. it's the story of an african-american that works in the white house for 30 years. eugene allen died in 2010 at the age of 90. although long retired, he lived to see an african-american become president of the united states. anderson sat down with allen's son, charles, and with will hagen, author of "the butler, a witness to history." his original story inspired the film. >> what was it that initially drew you to this story? >> i knew i wanted to find
somebody from the era of segregation, before the civil rights bills had been passed in this country, and who worked in the white house. and so i started this massive nationwide search, made a lot of phone calls, utilized all my sources. on the 57th call to his father's house, i said i'm looking for mr. eugene allen who used to work at the white house. someone had told me that he had worked for three presidents and when i said i'm looking for mr. allen who used to work for three presidents. he said well, you're speaking to him. but let me correct you, i worked for eight presidents. >> nobody had ever told his story? >> when we were looking at his archives in his basement, he had, i think, really realized the importance of what he had went through in life, 34 years at the white house, never missing a day of work, through eight presidents, from truman to
reagan. i said, nobody has ever written a lengthy story about you, mr. allen? he took a step closer to me and he said, if you think i'm worthy, you'll be the first. >> wow. the film that's coming out where the nation is talking about race in the wake of the trayvon martin case -- >> yes, of course. >> do you hope the story of your father contributes to the discussion in a way? >> i not only hope it will contribute, i pray it will contribute to the discussion. >> what do you hope it contributes? >> i'm hoping it will generate people into thinking that what we went through in the '50s, '60s, even before that, but during the modern civil rights era, it has not ended. >> one of the things that fascinates me about mr. allen's life is he was in the white
house and heard the echoes and the ramifications of the murder of emmett till, the murders of the four young girls in the birmingham 16th street church, the murder of dr. martin luther king, jr. he was there for an astonishing suite of history. you know, all those emotions had to swirl inside of him. his son was serving in vietnam. mr. allen -- >> yet his job was to be there and yet to not be there in a sense. >> yes. i mean, just think about it, in the '50s, he was an employee at the most powerful address in the world. but he would go back to his native virginia, scottsville, virginia, and would have to use a segregated bathroom.
>> your mom passed away the day before the election in 2008. yet your dad went out and voted. >> oh, yes. he was going to vote and, you know, my mom had arthritis very bad. i was supposed to get her an absentee ballot, which i didn't do. i apologized to her that saturday, and i said, well, mom, i'm sorry i didn't get the ballot for you. he said, that's okay. she said i'm going to walk on tuesday and she walked up the stairs and she didn't come down anymore. that being the morning of the 3rd. so dad, you know, he had to go up there and call the law. but it was still unrealistic up to the point where we were at the inauguration. we got invited to the inauguration. >> what was that moment like for your dad? >> like something out of the bible. it was like something out of -- it was a biblical story.
the greatest story ever told. >> i remember when we got out of the subway and started walking, it was bitterly cold and i said, mr. allen, i apologize. i think we should turn back. i can tell you're in page. he looked at me and he said, you hold one arm. and he looked at his son and he said charles, you hold the other arm. and he said, because i'm not turning back. when we were sitting down watching the president elect, first african-american president in the history of the nation take the oath of office, he leaned over to me and he said, when i was in the white house, you couldn't even dream that you could dream of a moment like this. two dreams. you couldn't even dream that you could dream the dream. and he was crying. >> wow. >> i looked at my dad, and he looked at my and said, 's